Jean Boghossian is an abstract multidisciplinary artist whose recent artworks all bear, at different degrees, traces of burn degradation.
Art witness to time and history
Born in Aleppo in 1949, Boghossian stems from a family of jewelers for whom he worked while studying Economics and Sociology at University of Saint-Joseph in Beirut. In 1975, the Lebanese Civil War forced Boghossian to leave the country and settle in Belgium. Over three decades ago, Boghossian decided to enroll in the Academy of Fine Arts in Boitsfort, Brussels, while continuing to oversee the family business. In 1992, together with his brother and father he created the Boghossian Foundation at the Villa Empain in Brussels. Jean Boghossian and his family have also worked and lived, in human relationships marked by a cosmopolitan identity and citizen of the world.
Based on his own experience of a whole range of historical events, cultural ebbs and flows and poetic narratives and dreams that encompass the world from East to West, Boghossian presents in his artwork a new idea that in the twenty-first century will come to life in the mishmash of today’s societal differences to forge a new and more just form of humanism.
For about more the 30 years now, Jean Boghossian has wanted to invest more in art on a personal basis: “I wanted to free myself from the jewellery business, to pursue a totally free artistic approach. It’s fantastic, it gives me extraordinary energy. When I’m facing a two-by-two meters canvas, it’s above all a space for creation, a refuge and a passion. It’s also a bit physical” .
It is through the process of willful damage with an invasive and rather violent method (fire), that Boghossian continuously searches for harmony. Conscious that one will never completely tame the chaotic move of flames and smoke, he enters the fire dance and moves along with the blaze until he chooses to stop the process. This is where he feels the right balance has been reached.
If Jean Boghossian is obviously not the only artist to have recourse to or to express himself with the action of fire – Claudio Parmiggiani and Yves Klein come to mind here – his works clearly explores new paths. In addition to the random results due to the use of smoke, the artist first intervenes on the support itself, the canvas, by practicing several methods and combining several techniques: folding, stapling, covering, burning, unfolding, correcting, redeploying, to finally end up with the tension on the frame of the canvas handled and treated in this specific way.
The creative processes activated by the flame animates the work of Boghossian through a dual tension that is created by means of a destructive – constructive synthesis that in fact characterised the work of previous maîtres à penser such as Burri and Fontana, not forgetting Pollock, Klein and Kounellis. Indeed Boghossian’s work is an answer in search of a question. The reality that appears to arouse his interest is one that springs from a radical redefinition of art that brings it ever closer to self-conscious process.
Solo & group exhibitions
Jean Boghossian has participated in recent solo and group exhibitions: Recent Works, Avenue Louise, Brussels (2021), Wooyang Museum, Seoul, South Korea (2019- 2020), Museum und Park Kalkriese, Germany (2019-2020), United Nations Office, Geneva (2019), Galerie Tanit, Munich (2019), Galerie Valérie Bach, Brussels (2018), Galerie Pièce Unique, Paris (2018), German Bundestag, Berlin (2018), Cardi Gallery, London (2018), Museum Ground, South Korea (2018), L’Orient Le Jour Building, Beirut (2018), the National Gallery of Armenia, Yerevan (2018), Frieze Art Fair, (Cardi Gallery) New York (2018), Art Monte-Carlo (Cardi Gallery), Monte-Carlo (2018), Ayyam Gallery, Dubai (2018), Armenian Center Center of Contemporary Experimental Art, Yerevan (2017, 2007), 57th Venice Biennale, Palazzo Zenobio (2017), Musée d’Ixelles, Brussels (2017), Beirut Exhibition Center (2015, 2011), Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collection Burri, Città di Castello (2015), Museo Archeologico di Atina e della Valle di Comino, Atina (2015), Villa Empain, Brussels (2014), Art Abu Dhabi, Saleh Barakat Gallery, Abu Dhabi (2013), Youngeun Museum of Contemporary Art, South Korea (2012) and Galerie Guy Ledune, Brussels (2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007).